Usurper King of Twilight ~ Zant for Super Smash Brothers Ultimate!

Willbot

Smash Rookie
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
13
#1
"Still your tongue for a moment, whelp, and I will tell you of both magic and the oppression of ages..."


Who could forget Zant? Seemingly everyone, apparently!

Playable in Hyrule Warriors, as well as being the major antagonist alongside Ganon in Twilight Princess, Zant has proven he has some significance. The game he reigns from has three releases, and being playable in another game, I think it is reasonable to add him to accommodate Ganondorf switching back to his OoT style. His arsenal of abilities is quite astounding, given that he can change the terrain around him (potentially as a final smash, he could change the stage outright! That'd cause a lot of chaos and fun for more casual players.) Additionally, as a Side B, he could use his blade twirl attack. He is also known for being able to summon shadow beasts, telekinesis, among many other potential moves he could use in Smash.

Music
All of Zant's themes are beautiful and eerie, whether they represent his fall to madness (his battle theme) and loss of composure or how creepy he is as a character (Zant at Lakebed).

Additionally, Zant has never appeared as an Assist trophy, while other Zelda antagonist candidates such as Skull Kid and Ghirahim have.

He is destined to be our Twilight Princess rep, since Midna is also an assist trophy. Tell me what you guys think!
Moveset (Credit to MasterWarlord)
STATS

Aerial Control: 9
Jumps: 8
Size: 7
Aerial Speed: 7
Weight: 5
Ground Movement: 4
Falling Speed: 3
Traction: 3

No catch to the stats, Zant’s a middleweight humanoid with a decent aerial affinity. His aerial jump is among the best in the game, giving him the best jumps of any character with only two.


SPECIALS

DOWN SPECIAL – SHADOW MINIONS





Zant brings his arms together, circles them around, brings them together again, then extends them out to his sides in an elaborate channeling motion to summon a portal above his head in front of him. This causes a single Shadow Beast to fall out before it closes. This gives Zant lag comparable to Snake placing a dsmash mine, but the Shadow Beast will not act until it falls to the ground and even then will have to get up off of it for a bit more lag. Zant may not use this move again until the Shadow Beast is ready to act, taking a full second from the move’s input.

Shadow Beasts patrol the stage back and forth at Ganondorf’s dashing speed. If a foe comes within a Mario width of them, they will actively pursue them at Mario’s dashing speed. If the foe continues to run from them, the shadow beast will perform a “dashing attack”, where they headbutt foes with their metal heads/helmets in a telegraphed attack, dealing 11% and knockback that KOs at 140%. This headbutt has end lag and stops the shadow beast’s dashing, enabling characters slower than Mario to escape pursuit. If the beast reaches the foe and they do not attempt to flee, the shadow beast will swat at the foe with a single hand, dealing 7% and knockback that KOs at 180% in an attack as fast as Bowser’s ftilt. If the foe is stunned, dodging, or shielding, the shadow beast will clasp his hands together before smashing them to the ground in front of him for an attack even laggier than the headbutt, dealing 15% and knockback that KOs at 120%.

Shadow Beasts have 50 HP and do not take stun, making it more feasible for them to complete their exceedingly laggy attacks. On death, their corpse will continue to rot on the stage. If only one live shadow beast is present on the stage and there are any corpses, it will laglessly howl (Not interrupting whatever it was doing), resurrecting all shadow beasts with full HP. To kill them for good, you must kill the last two of them at the same time. If all shadow beasts are dead at the same time, their corpses will explode into shadowy particles and vanish, so that Zant cannot just summon another one to revive them all.





If the input is smashed, Zant summons a common enemy type called a “Zant Mask”, that looks like a DK sized version of Zant’s helmet. Zant masks will float where they are summoned and will attack immediately upon coming out of the portal. They have a single attack of opening their mouths by retracting their “tongues”, shooting a generic dark red projectile at the nearest foe’s position before putting the tongue down into the usual position. These projectiles are the size of Mario’s fireball, go at Luigi’s dashing speed up to a max of Final Destination’s width, and deal 5% and flinching on contact. They will fire a projectile once every 1.65 seconds.

Zant Masks have 50 HP, but they will quickly teleport to a random position within a platform’s width every 5 seconds. They will never randomly teleport higher than 1.8 platforms above or away from the stage, and will never go under the stage. If a foe is within half a platform of them when they would normally teleport, the mask will specifically teleport away from the foe. If a foe is within a Wario width, the mask will specifically teleport away from the foe instead of shooting a projectile when it normally would.

UP SPECIAL – TWILIGHT BARRIER

Zant performs Zelda’s Up Special, with a twilight effect replacing the fiery explosion. His version is a bit faster and weaker than Zelda’s, who for some reason is more of a slow heavy hitter archetype. It still goes just as far as Zelda’s, which is a little under two Battlefield Platforms . Two Wario sized clumps of twilight appear where Zant uses the move and teleports to that do nothing, using the move again destroys the old twilight.

If a shadow beast enters pursuit range of the foe when the foe and it are between the two areas of twilight, two infinitely tall orange transparent barrier spawn at the two twilight patches as they vanish. The barrier actually stretches into the foreground and background with four twilight posts connecting the walls to make a realistic “cage” to trap the foe in, though this is entirely aesthetic and only the two walls matter. The walls are solid, and on contact it deals tiny set weak knockback away with no stun or damage. To destroy the barrier, foes must destroy all shadow beasts inside of it with them. It doesn’t matter if one’s outside the barrier to revive them, simply killing them all once will suffice to break the barrier. Having all of the beasts inside the barrier can work nice too, as they can actually be revived without the barrier breaking that way.

You can potentially move off-stage and teleport back to put some off-stage inside a barrier if you want, but this will just give an easy option for foes to kill shadow beasts. In any case, an entirely off-stage or a tiny pen of a barrier cannot be created, as at least one platform of ground must be inside the barrier’s space for it to spawn. Only one barrier can exist at a time.

Of course, Zant doesn’t get to just stand outside and do nothing while his minions fight the foe in a cage match. Who would want to do something so boring? All of his projectiles can go through the barrier to enable him to camp, and he can also teleport through the barriers with this very move (He cannot set up a second barrier while one is up) to fight them directly if he wants. Zant Masks can teleport around barriers and shoot projectiles through them in a largely identical manner to Zant.

NEUTRAL SPECIAL – SIZESHIFT

Zant enters a constipated charging position as either he or the minion/foe in front of him (If there is one) begins to massively increase in size. This gives Zant a surprisingly brief period of lag, as he is able to move after .4 seconds. He is still growing after the lag and he does not gain the power/weight bonuses of being large until he finishes it half a second after the initial input, but his hurtbox/hitboxes increase directly with size as you’d expect.

Projectiles made by giant Zant are giant like a regular giant character, but being giant does not change the size of shadow beasts. Aside from larger projectiles and more power, giant Zant in particular enjoys being able to hit foes inside of a barrier from outside with melee moves. Zant’s barriers are paper thin, meaning if he goes up against one he can hit a foe through it like any other solid obstacle in Smash. If giant, though, he has enough range to reach foes further away from the edge of the barrier.

Characters made giant by this move can potentially stay large forever, but upon being hit by anything that deals hitstun (or taking damage in the case of a Shadow Beast) the giant character will shift down in size to poison mushroom size over 5 seconds. The character will still have their giant power/weight until reaching regular size in 2.5 seconds, and their regular power/weight until they become tiny after the full 5 seconds. The character will remain tiny for 8 seconds before popping back to normal size.

Using this on a shadow beast will increase their range where they will pursue foes to a platform’s width, and in addition to powering up their moves will cause the two handed overhead slam to create an earthshaking hitbox where he slammed his hands for one second, dealing 8% and vertical knockback that KOs at 160%. Making a foe giant will make it easier for them to bump into shadow beasts and trigger barriers, and they should hopefully be hit by said shadow beasts shortly after to remove their giant size. If both the beast and the foe is giant, they won’t have much room to evade them given they take up half the stage.

Making a Zant Mask giant makes it solid from the inside, and when the Zant mask goes to retract the tongue, characters can go inside of it and even refresh their recoveries like perfectly normal ground. The projectile is generated outside the mask’s mouth so characters inside won’t be hit by it, and the mask’s AI will not change if the foe is inside of it rather than close by it. Characters inside the mask are invulnerable to characters outside of it when the mask’s tongue is down to block entry. That said, if the foe attempts to destroy the mask from the inside, if they don’t fully kill the mask it will shrink down with them inside of it, constricting the foe in a grab escape that deals 4% per half second to the foe. The point this is determined is when the mask becomes smaller than the character’s hurtbox, so making the foe giant can make this happen faster. Whenever the foe busts out from the mask constricting them, they will shatter it as they burst out from inside of it.

Zant can teleport inside of a giant mask to hide, and while he can’t shoot projectiles through it, he can shoot projectiles out at the same time the mask does when it retracts the tongue to shoot out projectiles alongside it. Sitting inside of a mask is generally the easiest way to bait the foe in to trap them, as they will oftentimes hit it to make it start getting smaller at the same time they hit you. The only particularly guaranteed way to not hit the mask is to land inside of it and grab Zant specifically. That said, they always have the option of just hitting the mask from the outside to force Zant to leave sooner or later, as he is vulnerable to the hitbox the mask has when it closes in on characters inside.

If two masks are close enough for Zant to teleport into and he goes into one, there will be no indication of which one he went inside of, and he can also teleport between them freely with no visible animation if the tongues are closed. This is not very abusable due to how hard it is to keep up 2 giant masks at the same time, but is a nice option when available to make you more elusive and obnoxious.

SIDE SPECIAL – SHADOW SHOOT

Zant raises his arm and shoots out a single dark red projectile that travels forwards a bit faster than Mario’s dash. The projectile has infinite range and the main body of the projectile is the size of a pokeball, dealing 5% and flinching on contact. It has a fiery/shadowy trail going behind it as it goes, though, that reaches out behind it as wide as Falco’s laser. The trail deals 1% and no stun per tenth of a second it’s in contact with something. This is a very spammable projectile and if you hold down B, Zant will continue using this version of the move rapidly as soon as he is able.

While it would be ideal if you could hit a foe with the main projectile and the trail, if the projectile hits something, the trail will only come up to where the projectile was as it disintegrates. The main thing the trail does is give something to hit a foe who dodges the main projectile, giving you some damage as a consolation prize. Giant foes in particular will find the trails very obnoxious, and will absolutely have to specifically shield the projectile, not dodge it, if they intend to avoid all damage from it.

Smashing the input increases the lag very slightly, but doubles the flight speed of the projectile without increasing power, but more importantly doubles the length of the trail. You can mix in the two projectile speeds together to create alternate lengths of trail and to create longer lingering main projectile hiboxes to deal actual hitstun to foes.


SMASHES

FORWARD SMASH – SHADOW SPREAD

Zant brings both of his arms up against himself during charging, then on release swings on upwards and one downwards as a huge spread of shadow projectiles get shot out in front of him. This has lag comparable to Bowser’s fsmash, but shoots out 6-11 projectiles at varying trajectories. While they all start next to each other, they spread out the further and further they go, though the ones aimed at the ground will inevitably hit it more quickly and expire faster. Each projectile does 5% and knockback that KOs at 200%. The projectiles move a bit faster than Mario’s dashing speed, much like the Side Special projectiles, though that move is spammable and doesn’t leave you overly vulnerable. Holding down Side B will get you more raw projectiles than this move will, and you can still “spread” them slightly by jumping in place as you spam with it much like how Falco would.

So what does this move accomplish over Side B? It lets all the projectiles be out at the same time to make them harder to avoid rather than a constant stream, and is worth mixing in with Side B spam if just sitting outside of a barrier camping. It’s also a worthwhile move to consider if sitting inside of a giant Zant Mask camping, as you can time the release of the move’s lag as the mask’s tongue retracts open.

Hitting with this move in melee range is not unheard of, Bowser can still land his fsmashes in competitive matches. Using this as a melee move causes all of the projectiles to immediately hit the foe at once before they spread, netting you a massive 30-55% damage on the foe, giving you the pay-off of Bowser’s fsmash for the lag of said move, at least damage wise.

If the foe is taller by being made giant, you can get this shotgun effect without firing at point blank. The bigger they are, the more the projectiles can spread out without exceeding their height. Being giant yourself can also be helpful with this move, though more for using the projectiles as projectiles and not as a shotgun blast. Keeping in mind the projectiles originate at your mid-torso section, being giant will also enable the projectiles aimed down to have some more distance to travel. Don’t get any ideas about using this while tiny on a regular sized foe, as this is much riskier and power of each individual projectile will be nerfed to make it very weak.

UP SMASH – SHADOW SWARM

Zant raises his arms above his head and moves them about as a giant red orb Wario-1.5x Bowser’s size materializes within his grasp (If he bothered to use his hands). Once it finishes being made, Zant will then fire it at any angle in front of him or above him, but will not fire it even slightly backwards. Whenever the orb comes into contact with solid ground or something it can damage, it will burst open into a portal. If it hits something it can damage, it deals 5% and flinching. If it hits nothing after going 2 platforms, it will burst open in place in mid-air. The portal’s large dark red graphic covers about a platform, but the only relevant part is a swirling portion in the middle Bowser’s size, the actual portal.

25-37 shadow bugs will come out of the portal and chase after the foe at Mario’s dashing speed if they were within a Bowser width of where they come out, otherwise they’ll just fly off the top blast zone. Each bug deals 1% and flinching and dies on contact with the foe in a tiny explosion, and they will continue to chase the foe until they get 1.3 platforms away from them, at which point they’ll take their leave off the top blast zone. The bugs are out-prioritzed by anything, and can be killed with even jointed attacks without the foe taking damage. The bugs cover about the size of 0.8-1.3x Bowser’s hurtbox as they move around, so it’s unlikely the foe will kill all of them in this way, leaving them to get hit by the rest in their ending lag. After the bugs come out, the portal vanishes into shadowy particles before quickly dissipating.

Shadow bugs cannot go through barriers, but the initial orb that you throw that places their portal can, enabling you to place a point for them to pop out and harass the foe. It’s much more difficult to outrun them inside barriers if it’s not massive, leaving foes to either awkwardly recover up high into the air or to fight some of them off, both leaving themselves open to other attacks. Giant foes will have difficulty running away due to it being harder to get their whole hurtbox 1.3 platforms away, but their increased hitbox sizes can kill all of the bugs at once for many characters. That said, tiny foes will have largely no choice but to run away, so if they get even once and start decreasing in size, their hitboxes generally will not be enough to kill a remotely worthwhile amount of the bugs.

This is not strictly a projectile attack, and can be used as very competent anti-air. It doesn’t take long at all for the initial orb to materialize, and if a foe lands on it from above as it spawns they will generate the portal and bugs near immediately to eat away at them. In addition, this can be used as a non anti-air melee move on foes taller than Zant, increasing the foe’s height enabling them to reach the hitbox.

DOWN SMASH – TANTRUM

Zant’s arm twitches a bit during charging as he crouches down, then he screams wildly as he jumps up into the air 1.5x Ganon’s height before coming back down and slamming onto the ground, stomping down with both legs. His body as he goes up deals 10% and knockback that KOs at 220%, and 16% and knockback that KOs at 170% on the way down. This move actually comes out very quickly, though it takes about as long as Dedede’s fsmash starting lag for Zant to hit the ground and generate an earthshaking hitbox, the main point of the move. The earthshaking hitbox will reach out .75 platforms to either side of Zant and deals 12-17% and vertical knockback that kills at 165-120%, lasting a half second to well more than cover Zant’s ending lag.

This is a pretty direct way to hit a foe inside of a barrier rather than just projectiles, though even with a minimum size barrier foes can run to the opposite side of the barrier to evade it without jumping. If the foe is big, they will be wider than .25 platforms in the case of all but the smallest of characters and will be hit by it. If –you- are big, the range of the earthshaking hitbox doubles, enabling you to hit all of even some larger barriers and most of a max size one. This does not come without a cost, though, in that your increased hurtbox will actually cause your leg to clip into the barrier during the ending lag if you use this move right up against the barrier, making you vulnerable. You can move slightly away from the barrier to get less range if you wish in exchange for being invulnerable, and this will still be enough to hit all of a minimum size barrier. Catching a foe as they land from being chased by usmash bugs with this can work nicely, though requires you to predict it in advance.

If you include the edge inside of a barrier, you will be pleased to learn that the earthshaking will wrap around a stage and hit ledges, doing horizontal knockback on a ledge and downwards knockback under the stage. This gives you a nice move to hit foes casually planking minions if you’ve included the edge inside of your barrier.


AERIALS

NEUTRAL AERIAL - BLADESTORM

Zant’s swords jut out of his sleeves as he starts spinning around, wind whirling around him. This move is very comparable to Mach Tornado, multiple hits of 1% and flinching, and mashing A to both make the move last longer and causing Zant to rise into the air a comparable distance to said move. Landing on the ground will not interrupt this move, and you can keep it going up to 1.2x as long as Mach Tornado for a total of 20 hits of 0.5% and flinching and a final hit that does 3% and knockback that KOs at 200%. When Zant comes out of this move, he enters his dizzy animation and has to button mash out, easier at lower percentages, though it’s around a third easier than if Zant had broken his shield. If you do not mash A to extend the move so much as one time, the ending lag will be as brief as Mach Tornado’s.

Zant has a unique sort of superarmor during this move, that will protect him from hitstun, but not knockback. If he is knocked away, Zant will still keep spinning around with the move uninterrupted, becoming a single constant momentum based hitbox rather than a multi-hitting one and increasing the max duration of the move by 1.35x. As an example, if he is hit by Mario’s fsmash at 50%, he’ll deal 15% and knockback that KOs at 120%. It doesn’t take much to reach the power cap of 20% and knockback that KOs at 100%. If Zant bumps into a wall when he has momentum from being hit, he will bounce off of it and increase his momentum by 1.2x and the max duration of the move by another 1.35x. While it is perfectly possible to make a tiny twilight barrier to bounce back and forth on the inside of infinitely (More likely a giant Zant mask), the foe has to hit you before the move mechanics change to allow you to do so from the usual Mach Tornado-esque version.

Zant may press any button other than A and make a directional input during this move to teleport a single Bowser width in the selected direction. He may do this up to twice throughout the course of the move, though he may only do this twice per air trip no matter how many nairs he uses. This enables Zant to teleport past barriers while using this move to bounce around after the foe before teleporting out to be safe during the ending lag. In addition, if Zant is in momentum mode during this move from having been hit, he can make a second input before he reappears to change his momentum to go in that direction. This enables him to redirect his momentum towards the foe outside predictable means of walls, slightly delay his approach on the foe to make them dodge in anticipation, or just redirect his momentum up to try to be safe during lag if there is no barrier/the shadow beasts are almost dead.

FORWARD AERIAL – BLADE DRILL

Zant goes horizontal in mid-air as blades extend out of his sleeves and he brings them together above his head, then he starts spinning around, somewhat comparable to Falco’s fair. This deals 13 hits of 1% and flinching, with the last hit dealing knockback that KOs at 180%. This is a decent attack to try to “escape” from the foe if cornered without a barrier up as you DI through a foe, and can also just delay them to a degree.

If the move’s landing lag is triggered, Zant will immediately enter prone on his stomach and will be free to act from that state. Zant’s stomach prone attack is quite good and involves him pouting as he pounds the ground childishly (8%, knockback KOs at 155%) as he gets up. Foes can generally DI out of the move before the end, at least if not giant, so ending the move early to finish it with the prone attack is actually safer. Zant can also instead roll up from prone instead of flopping about to use this move as a “set” spacer, most probably choosing to roll back towards a minion.

BACK AERIAL – TOUCH OF TWILIGHT

Zant extends out a sleeve behind him as he turns to look, then actually brings his hand out of his sleeve as he goes to poke the foe with his pointer finger. The arm and hand are a hitbox that deal an embarrassing 2% and set tiny knockback of a Mario width, with a microstun shorter than a flinch. There is a tiny hitbox placed on the tip of Zant’s finger, though, that deals 18% and knockback that KOs at 130% as the foe gets sent off flying covered in dark red flames. This is a very quick move to start, and while the ending lag is long enough it’s not “spammable” this can be Zant’s best move if you get good at spacing.

If the foe is giant, it will be much easier to hit them with this move. If Zant is giant, the hitbox’s size will get exaggerated along with his own, making this move easier to throw out in addition to making it even more powerful. This move’s range, while not fantastic, is better than most moves of this type, meaning a giant Zant can also spam this move against a barrier to try to hit a foe inside to moderate success. Ideally, he can constantly be spacing himself to try to not let the foe get past his finger, only coming up against the barrier and humping it when he has to reach for a foe hiding on the other side of a barrier.

UP AERIAL – DARK PORTAL

Zant raises his arms above his head as a small portal spawns there, sucking foes in with the power of Dedede’s inhale in a Bowser sized radius around Zant. Foes can be sucked up from below Zant, but they will have plenty of time to hit Zant out of the move if he chooses to do that. The portal is the size of Wario at the start of the move and slowly shrinks over the move’s duration, but deals 25 hits of 1% and flinching over the course of the move with the last one dealing knockback that KOs at 225%.

The portal will suck up projectiles, enabling you to bring in the foe and the projectiles to all collide together. This is of course most powerful in combination with the fsmash, though is rather predictable. If you don’t want to do any work whatsoever for a projectile bonus, you can use projectiles from Zant Masks for this. If an enemy projectile manages to reach the portal, ownership will change to you, but it can still hit you before it reaches the portal, meaning it only really “invalidates” enemy projectiles from above, which are very rare and rather impractical to begin with.

Any projectiles sucked up by this move that aren’t used up by damaging something will phase out of existence. If you use Down Special, though, all projectiles stored by this move will come out alongside the minion, going at the angle they were going though being aimed in the direction Zant is facing. Aside from some situational offensive use, any projectiles whatsoever now becomes useful as it will cover Zant while he’s summoning a minion.

DOWN AERIAL – SHADOW BLAST

Zant joins his sleeves together as he raises his hands over his head before a black shadowy ball of energy pops between them, pushing them apart, before Zant forcefully throws it downwards. This is a laggy attack for Zant to actually fire the projectile, but strangely can hit foes above him quite quickly, the ball becoming a hitbox as soon as it spawns. Weirder still, the ball specifically does vertical knockback, KOing at 145% along with dealing 12% damage. Upon contact with the ground, the ball explodes and sends up three Side Special projectiles, one directly upwards and two at 45 degree angles to the sides up from the ground.

This projectile will immediately expire upon damaging something, so if this is used as a melee move Zant can interrupt himself out of the rest of the long animation. If a foe air dodges through Zant when falling into him to evade this attack, hitting with the move as a projectile instead becomes possible if Zant DIs to stay on top of the foe. Given the status this has as laggy, though, it’s doubtful you’ll actually still hit them (Unless giant), but you can at least send it after them immediately and force them to do a second panicked air dodge. This is also one of those “bad” downwards angled projectiles mentioned by the uair, which can be made more practical by limiting horizontal space with a barrier. Using this directly followed by uair is a very powerful combination if the foe happens to be high up, and it can also possibly catch some of the smaller projectiles you made.


STANDARDS

NEUTRAL ATTACK – SHADOW PARTICLES

Zant swipes his arm forwards, causing some small shadowy particles to spawn in front of him and swirl around. With each press of A, Zant will swipe his arm back in the opposite direction, making the shadowy particles swirl around in reverse. Each hit deals 5% and turn the foe around like Mario’s cape. Due to this being a grounded attack, this sadly can’t be used to gimp, but it can still serve as a crude counter unless the foe does a move that hits to both sides like a traditional dsmash. This attack is extremely fast, and can actually rack damage as quickly as Fox’s laser on a foe who stands there doing nothing. Like Fox’s laser, this will not knock a foe out of stun, so this is a go to move if you manage to break the foe’s shield, which is possible if you actually land some hits while giant and/or some hits alongside minions.

While you can simply use this while standing on the same side as a minion in a very straightforward way to try to defend the minion, it’s still worth looking into if on the opposite side of the foe as a minion. If you’re inside a barrier, it can actually be a very legitimate consideration to want to tank a hit for a Shadow Beast in his stead – especially if at high percentages, as the extra damage won’t matter and the attack won’t kill you unless it does very direct vertical knockback. Meanwhile, the Shadow Beast will punish them and not take damage.

If this is used on a Shadow Beast, it will turn it around too, which is actually quite useful given their mindless patrol patterns. You can send them back after the foe if they passed them up, or maybe even send one away from the foe to try to get it out of barrier range so it can easily revive the rest.

DASHING ATTACK – BLADE RUSH

Zant alternates chopping with each arm as he runs forwards a fair bit faster than usual, babbling something with each chop, traveling a platform’s distance over the course of the dashing attack. Zant is consistently a hitbox that deals 11% and knockback that KOs at 150% over the course of the move. The beginning of the attack is superarmored, making this a popular move for Zant to tank damage. Despite not being especially heavy, Zant is good at surviving with heaps of damage on him due to only being killable by vertical KOs inside of barriers. While he can be a bit more offensive if he wants at lower percentages, when he’s actually damaged enough to kill him it’s rare he’ll fight you outside a barrier if at all possible.

This attack does a good shieldstun, as well as some shield push. You can drag a shielding foe with this and get 2 hits on them before they’ll be pushed too far out of range, possibly pushing them into a Shadow Beast. If inside of a barrier, the barrier will prevent the foe from being pushed back too far, enabling you to get in a third hit to heavily cripple and almost destroy their shield. If giant, this will most definitely shatter it from even full strength if you land all 3 hits, enabling you to rack heavy damage with the jab.

FORWARD TILT – LONG SWING

While the dashing attack is the more well known animation, when Zant is less damaged in his final phase he will do more exaggerated long swipes with his blades instead of the rapid advancing cut. He leans back a bit before slicing forward with one arm here, giving him a fairly fast and ranged tilt that deals 6% and above average hitstun. This is a two part ftilt like Snake’s and if A is input again he will do a similar slash with his other arm. This is just as fast, but is slightly more powerful due to Zant leaning heavily into the attack, so far that he spins around to face the opposite direction. This second attack deals 9% and knockback that KOs at 140%, and has no ending lag, with Zant facing the other way being considered enough “penalty”.

If the foe dodges or shielded the attack, facing the opposite way will make this a bit too difficult to actually capitalize on their slight delay, but you’re still free and in fact set-up to just try to run away from the enemy after having failed to hit them. If you want to use the move more offensively, you can just try to use only the first hit to stun the foe, similar to how characters like Ike rarely use the last hit of their jab. Nothing will true combo into it outside of your jab and utilt, though the jab can put the foe in an awkward spot. Whether used offensively or defensively, it puts you in control of how the match is being dictated and takes the pressure off you, either directly or by applying some immediately to the enemy.

UP TILT – REDIRECTION

Zant swats over his head in a half-arch arc in a very quick and spammable move, dealing 6% and mostly vertical knockback that KOs at 200%. This is a good anti-air and even a decent juggler at low percentages, which has some use in barriers and in the context of uair/dair.

Shadow particles spawn in the arc he swings his arm. They’re not entirely for show, as any of Zant’s projectiles that come into contact with this will be bounced off by this attack. The projectile will be reangled to go in a new direction based off where on the utilt the projectile was hit, going directly away from him. This lets Zant reaim projectiles most anywhere with good timing, and is a much more immediate course of action than the uair.

DOWN TILT - STOMP

Zant raises his leg high into the air to do an overly dramatic stomp forwards with a single leg. This is laggy for a tilt, a bit laggier than Samus’ dtilt, but has good range and is quite powerful for a tilt, dealing 15% and knockback that KOs at an early 110% in one of Zant’s best KO moves.

This move has a counter hitbox on it, but triggering it does not nullify all knockback. Instead, only all vertical knockback is negated, and Zant takes his horizontal knockback as he holds onto his foot, yelping in pain as he hops on his other foot repeatedly. Zant will hop forwards a platform’s distance at Captain Falcon’s dashing speed over the duration of the “counter”, negating a quarter of his remaining horizontal knockback with each of his four hops over the duration of the counter. Zant deals 5% and set knockback forwards during the counter that will drag foes along with him, potentially hitting foes up to four times. Most foes will probably DI out before then, though giant ones won’t and will still be giant long enough for all the hits to connect.

This functions well when you can better deal with the fact you still take some horizontal knockback from this move. The most obvious use is just having a low percentage, and using the dragging hits to bring the foe into a Shadow Beast. It also works well if a barrier is already up, as the barrier puts a strict cap on how much horizontal knockback you can take. If Zant is big, while he will still start shrinking once hit like in his boss fight, but he will hop forwards twice as far over the course of the move, enabling him to hop back to reach the foe very quickly and enabling him to drag them far further.


GRAB-GAME

GRAB – NO HANDS

Zant extends out his sleeve without bothering to grab the foe with his hand. Rather than an MYM grab where he actually physically grabs the foe, the foe just becomes magically restrained up against Zant’s sleeve, much like Dedede’s grab and many others. This has comparatively good grab range to the Brawl cast, but is still not what you’d consider “good range”. It is a somewhat laggy grab on par with Falco’s.

PUMMEL – SHADOW BURST

Zant waves his arm as the tassels at the end of his sleeve move about, generating a small burst of shadow on the foe to deal 0.7% in a pummel nearly as fast as Lucario’s (Which deals 0.5%). Having this sort of pummel is good for Zant because each pummel will enter the stale moves list, enabling him to easily push out everything else. Why he appreciates it more than a standard character is simply the ability to refresh his Side Special, enabling him to power his camping back up to full strength quickly. You’ll also passively use this when just waiting for a Shadow Beast to smack the foe.

FORWARD THROW – SHADOW BLAST

Zant blasts the foe diagonally upwards, dealing 9% and knockback that kills at 180%, but only due to the poor angle. Zant proceeds to spawn the projectile from dair in the same fashion as he does in said move, but launches it upwards at the same angle he threw the foe, sending it after them. This will never combo into the foe, even at low percentages, but will provide them something to dodge.

While you can fire this projectile at will with your dair, you are not normally allowed to fire it at this angle. The angle the move is fired at it enables it to hit walls, and it will act the same as if it hit the ground, spawning three Side Special projectiles for you. This means the foe will have to dodge the projectiles twice, opening things up for you to add in whatever else you feel like or just grab some of the free projectiles with uair.

BACK THROW – TWILIGHT AURA

Zant places his sleeves on either side of the foe’s head before blasting them behind him, dealing 13% and knockback that KOs at 175%. As they are shot away, a completely black shroud covers where they go, as large as their hurtbox. The foe will continue to make more of this wherever they go for the next 3 seconds. The black twilight aura does nothing, but it does obscure vision and lasts for 5 seconds. Even if this won’t KO, having a good chunk of damage on the foe is good for this throw so that if they come into contact with a shadow beast, they’ll fly into the opposite side of the barrier as they spawn to cover the entirety of the ground level with obscuring black shadow.

The AI doesn’t care about having their vision obscured, so this can be a rather awkward handicap to fight the Shadow Beasts, foes largely just having to either dodgespasm or flail out hitboxes mindlessly without skilled play. If a barrier is up, Zant doesn’t especially care about seeing the foe either and he can just leave the barrier so it can’t be used against him. He will know the general location of where they have to be and can just fire projectiles in their vague direction that will be more difficult to dodge than usual.

UP THROW – DARK DIVE

Zant spawns a portal underneath himself and throws the foe into it, then hops into it himself carelessly with his arms raised high in the air with the tassels on his sleeves blowing upwards, letting out a maniacal laugh. The foe and Zant will stay inside the portal for half a second as the foe takes 10 hits of 1%, then the portal will open back up with Zant uppercutting the foe out of it, dealing knockback that KOs at 140%. This is Zant’s favorite kill move due to it being reliable out of a grab and sending foes entirely vertically so it has no problem killing enemies inside of barriers. Zant is propelled upwards a set distance as he uppercuts of double Ganondorf’s height – at low percentages he’ll be in the air above the foe able to summon a minion or send a dair at them. If below them, he can use his dair and uair to juggle the foe, possibly attempting to go for the kill with dair.

Any projectiles absorbed with uair will be shot vertically after the foe when this move is used. At low percentages, this will guarantee all of them hit, though it’s doubtful you’ll have many projectiles stored at low percentages unless the foe has respawned from having been killed, I which case it’s quite good. It can still create some projectiles for foes to avoid as they come down, and directly plays into a uair follow-up as Zant goes to recollect his projectiles before they go off the top.

DOWN THROW – TWILI CURSE

Some kicks the foe to the ground in prone and dances on their corpse like a lunatic while shouting something incomprehensible, causing shadowy particles to swirl around the foe, then kicks them in the buttocks for weak knockback that KOs at 220% while they’re still in prone. This deals 14% and would already pass as a great for some other characters, though Zant isn’t an especially big abuser of prone state.

The shadowy particles will continue to swirl around the foe for a long 8 seconds, giving them far more than enough time to recover from prone before an actual effect happens. A portal will spawn on top of the foe’s current location and begin sucking them in – it’s identical to the uair, it’s essentially as if an invisible Zant just spawned there and used the move. The foe still has enough time to move out of the immediate hitbox of the portal, though they typically have to be dashing/dodging already when it spawns to do so. Zant can be affected by the pull of this and even be hit by the portal’s multiple flinching hits, so if a foe is on top of him and pressuring him they can actually use this to their advantage. Zant will want the foe in a barrier when this goes off and to fire lots of projectiles if at all possible – the possibilities are a lot bigger than with uair given he doesn’t have to personally channel the portal. This still keeps the properties uair has of absorbing projectiles to be later reusable with your Down Special, so it’s still massively beneficial even if you miss.


FINAL SMASH

Zant takes off his helmet before he snaps his own neck, simply by bending it out of place as a snapping sound is heard. This will deal 35% to Zant, but will kill the nearest enemy as their own neck snaps and they die stamina style. In order to stop this, foes can just interrupt Zant during the Final Smash. It takes a second to perform this, so it’s quite easy to interrupt if you don’t trap the foe in a barrier. Trapping the foe in said barrier also isn’t free once you get the smash ball, as they can knock the smash ball out of you while you’re trying to do it.


PLAYSTYLE SUMMARY

While Zant’s more evasive and vaguely counter-based standards may seem odd, he actually makes heaviest use of them at the start of the match when he hasn’t set anything up yet. Contrary to popular belief, set-up isn’t entirely free. Using the fair as an air to ground move also works well here as Zant tries to buy some time to get a Down Special off. If possible, Zant will want to mix at least one Up Special into his evasive melee game here, so he doesn’t have to arbitrarily set-up the position where the barrier will set-up later.

You’d like to think that Zant could just wait for the foe to bump into the Shadow Beast then endlessly make more, but foes will be waiting until Shadow Beasts are out of the barrier’s spawn range to kill them and send them plummeting off the edge so they can’t be revived either. A competent foe will rarely let you revive Shadow Beasts unless a barrier forces them to. Zant has to supply a rather surprising amount of pressure in order to protect the Shadow Beasts. Zant Masks can be more helpful here than you’d think in this early phase, as foes will generally ignore them since they can’t spawn barriers. While they’re weak, having one out can be good as a slow burner. If the foe targets one, they’ll be wasting their time given how evasive they are, letting you get the needed beasts out on the field.

With one good barrier up, it’s easy to make more and more beasts to keep getting them up. You have to be careful of a foe baiting a large group off the edge to their deaths, and may even want to set up one of the two edges as one of the end points of your barrier to help deal with this – dsmash’s hitbox that hits the ledge will be seeing a lot more use than you’d think. Turning Shadow Beasts around to keep them separate can become crucial. While Zant’s playstyle of camping, projectile manipulation, and more becomes very obvious with a barrier up to the point it’s not worth going over again if you’ve read the set, he will actually need to be doing a lot of camping by the time he’s going at full strength so he doesn’t die – Zant will be at a high percentage for most of the match, but he will still live a very long life. Of course he can still come inside the barrier to help, though he will largely be doing so towards the end of a stock when it’s time to go for the KO.


3V1 BOSS MODE


  • Zant has invulnerability to grabs for a second after being grab released or thrown.
  • Down Special summons 3 minions per use.
  • You can create as many barriers as you want, but you cannot create barriers inside of barriers. The minimum width of barriers is reduced to Bowser’s width rather than a platform.
  • Zant’s Up Special is lagless. He can use it twice without touching ground, and the second use of it does not put him into helpless.
  • Zant is ungrabbable while giant and will come out of stun immediately if he remains in it for longer than .1 seconds. 50 damage must be dealt to Zant before he shrinks in the usual fashion, but he will only shrink to regular size, not to his small size. Zant’s weight while giant is buffed to double Bowser’s.
  • Zant Masks must take 26 damage to lose their giant status.
  • Fair moves Zant in an identical manner to Meta Knight’s Side Special. He may use it two times in the air before it reverts to the usual version until he touches ground again.
  • Uair’s portal may now suck up foes that are smaller than it. Zant may become giant or turn a foe tiny to achieve this. Some small foes can be captured immediately by the uair, but you basically have to get them as soon as the hitbox spawns due to the already small hitbox getting smaller over the course of the move. If Zant does not use Down Special to release the foe, the foe may break out at grab difficulty, causing the portal to spawn where the uair was last used with the foe gaining grab invulnerability for a half second.
  • The dair/fthrow projectile will now spawn 8 projectiles on contact with ground/walls. Foe may go out of their way to shield the dair, or even voluntarily choose to be hit by the fthrow to stop the projectiles from spawning.
  • Zant does not go down with the foe in uthrow, leaving them to get shot out of the portal with his projectiles by themselves.
  • Dthrow’s knockback is buffed to KOing at 130%, and the foe will become a hitbox that deals 12% and knockback that KOs at 160% to other foes as they slide in prone. It is now an even more amazing throw than it already was, but the laggy animation actually matters now.
  • If no foe is in range of Zant’s grab and he inputs it, he will summon a “Zant’s Hand”, the Wallmaster rip off found in the Palace of Twilight. This will pursue the nearest foe at Ganon’s dashing speed and attempt to grab them, and upon success will drag the foe back to Zant at Meta Knight’s dashing speed. The foe can escape the grab before reaching Zant, though if the hand releases the foe to Zant the grab escape timer resets. The hand will vanish upon one failed grab attempt or a successful grab. Other foes can attack a hand that has an ally grabbed, killing it early by dealing it 30 damage. Zant can only have one out at a time, and it is quick to summon.
  • Dsmash is replaced. Dtilt now has the earthshaking effect from Zant’s original dsmash.

DOWN SMASH – TANTRUM

Zant’s arm twitches a bit during charging as he crouches down, then he screams wildly as he jumps up into the air 1.5x Ganon’s height before coming back down and slamming onto the ground. His body as he goes up deals 10% and knockback that KOs at 220%, and 16% and knockback that KOs at 170% on the way down. On contact with the ground, he will cause a Wario’s width of ground to either side of him to become hitboxes that deal 10-20% and vertical knockback that KOs at 180-150% for half a second. Zant is allowed to move through the air with his normal DI when he jumps up, but may not perform any moves. Regardless, it makes this otherwise laggy move a lot safer and more evasive.

The move’s description above is what happens if Zant slams down on the center a stage or platform. The further towards one edge of a platform Zant slams down, the more it will tilt in that direction when Zant slams down on it. Zant can tilt the entirety of most tourney legal stages as they’re all one “platform”, but will have to settle for tilting separate parts of giant stages like New Pork at a time. If he slams down all the way on the edge of a platform, the platform will be tilted at a 45 degree angle. The further away from the edge and closer to the center Zant slams down, the smaller the angle of the tilt will be. The platform will tilt back into place at a rate of 5 degrees per second. Barriers will also be tilted if the main stage is tilted, and you may never tilt a platform more than 45 degrees.

Aside from altering the stage when used closer to an edge, using it like this will generate a hitbox towards the opposite end of the stage that gets tilted upwards for a third of a second, essentially catapulting foes. The closer to one edge you use the move, the further the hitbox will reach out from the opposite edge, potentially covering up the entire opposite half of the stage. The power of the hitbox at the opposite edge is increased the closer to your edge you use the move, then weakens as it goes out. If you somehow get the foe standing at the other edge when you use this on an edge, they’ll be dealt an astonishing 36% and knockback that KOs at 65%, though it likely won’t KO that soon because of the foe being sent towards the blast zone they’re further away from. This description of power assumes the stage is as wide as Battlefield at least, getting proportionately weaker if the platform is smaller. The earthshaking hitbox will send the foe in the direction the stage is being tilted at a diagonal angle based off the stage’s tilt, not straight up. This is more usable than you might think if the foe is stuck at the opposite side of a stage in a barrier.

While Zant is mostly doing this through magic, if he is giant it will slightly increase his power to tilt the stage as he becomes an actual heavyweight. While giant, Zant can tilt the stage to a maximum of 60 degrees. This does not increase the power, but the giant buff increases the power anyway.

Tilting any platform/stage at least as wide as Smashville’s moving platform will change its center of gravity. Any characters standing on the ground, including Zant, will begin to slide downwards at the rate of Ganondorf’s dash if the stage is tilted 45 degrees (Link’s at 60 degrees), progressively getting slower and stopping once the stage is only tilted 10 degrees. Characters are immune to this when performing ledge attacks/rolls so they don’t just slide off the stage while trying to climb up. If they dash in the direction the stage is tilted/against it, this rate will be added/subtracted to their dashing speed. If it decreases the character’s speed less, it will be cut by up to one third (One half at 60 degrees), this amount decreasing as the stage tilts back into place. Characters in prone will slide down the slope at Mario’s dash speed at 45 degrees, and Meta Knight’s at 60 degrees.

You almost always want to be on the higher ground when the stage is tilted, as if you sit and attack a foe above you with a grounded attack you can often slide downwards in the middle of your attack and be unable to hit them. If on higher ground, performing a grounded attack can enable you to “slide” forwards while using it as if you were some kind of momentum character. The sliding can also be very obnoxious as they get slid into a barrier and bump against it over and over.
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Supporters
Willbot
MoofyTheGod
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Smash Lampjaw
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Last edited:

MoofyTheGod

Smash Rookie
Joined
Oct 22, 2017
Messages
1
#2
I simply couldn't agree more. Zant is a great and memorable character. He's been overlooked far too long. You're move suggestions are superb and make reasonable sense. Unfortunately, i think Nintendo knows how much no one knows about him. But if Hyrule Warriors was a trial run for character popularity, perhaps he could end up in the new Smash, especially since, as you mentioned, he isn't an assist trophy, so that leaves him free to be used. At the very least I hope they put his themes in the music player.
 

MasterWarlord

Smash Champion
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
2,814
Location
Crocodilopolis/White King’s Paradise
#3
Glad there was somebody out there to make this thread. Zant is one of my favorite Nintendo villains even if that's not a common pick. Some people say he was "ruined" by going insane in the end, but his insanity is the main thing that makes me like the character. Before that, he's a fairly standard issue villain. Watching him go berserk in Smash, which is how he'd fight more likely than not, would be fantastic. Hyrule Warriors showed just how much potential Zant had.

I'd be absolutely shocked if he happened, but I'd love it.
 

Willbot

Smash Rookie
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
13
#4
Glad there was somebody out there to make this thread. Zant is one of my favorite Nintendo villains even if that's not a common pick. Some people say he was "ruined" by going insane in the end, but his insanity is the main thing that makes me like the character. Before that, he's a fairly standard issue villain. Watching him go berserk in Smash, which is how he'd fight more likely than not, would be fantastic. Hyrule Warriors showed just how much potential Zant had.

I'd be absolutely shocked if he happened, but I'd love it.
I couldn't agree more. Zant separates himself from the bunch in the fact that, in a way, he was insane for one. You get to watch his descent into madness which I found very interesting. Also, Zant is interesting in my opinion because in a sense, his way of thinking isn't wrong. His race was condemned to the twilight realm for a very long time, and what he wanted as a leader was to claim what he'd thought belonged to his people rightfully. Of course, as we all know, he was then taken by Ganon, and then things went downhill from there. Glad to hear people support him!
 

MasterWarlord

Smash Champion
Joined
Aug 24, 2008
Messages
2,814
Location
Crocodilopolis/White King’s Paradise
#5
Dug up my Zant set from 2014 in the Make Your Move threads, since he certainly deserves it.

ZANT



Zant is the main antagonist of Twilight Princess. By helping to free Ganondorf (Who Zant believed was a god), Ganondorf in return gave him powers over the twilight realm and ousted Midna, her incompetent rule having nearly driven Zant insane. While Ganondorf is using Zant to a degree, Ganon seems to have minimal interest in ruling over the Twilight realm and just wanted Zant to help him reach Hyrule, so while he is an underling he is more of an actual partner to Ganon.

While he acts as a rather ominous and serious antagonist for most of the game, when you encounter him in his palace he goes insane for a very wacky boss battle. Over his impending death? Over what has become of his people? Over seeing Midna again? It’s largely left open to interpretation.

STATS

Aerial Control: 9
Jumps: 8
Size: 7
Aerial Speed: 7
Weight: 5
Ground Movement: 4
Falling Speed: 3
Traction: 3

No catch to the stats, Zant’s a middleweight humanoid with a decent aerial affinity. His aerial jump is among the best in the game, giving him the best jumps of any character with only two.

SPECIALS

DOWN SPECIAL – SHADOW MINIONS



Zant brings his arms together, circles them around, brings them together again, then extends them out to his sides in an elaborate channeling motion to summon a portal above his head in front of him. This causes a single Shadow Beast to fall out before it closes. This gives Zant lag comparable to Snake placing a dsmash mine, but the Shadow Beast will not act until it falls to the ground and even then will have to get up off of it for a bit more lag. Zant may not use this move again until the Shadow Beast is ready to act, taking a full second from the move’s input.

Shadow Beasts patrol the stage back and forth at Ganondorf’s dashing speed. If a foe comes within a Mario width of them, they will actively pursue them at Mario’s dashing speed. If the foe continues to run from them, the shadow beast will perform a “dashing attack”, where they headbutt foes with their metal heads/helmets in a telegraphed attack, dealing 11% and knockback that KOs at 140%. This headbutt has end lag and stops the shadow beast’s dashing, enabling characters slower than Mario to escape pursuit. If the beast reaches the foe and they do not attempt to flee, the shadow beast will swat at the foe with a single hand, dealing 7% and knockback that KOs at 180% in an attack as fast as Bowser’s ftilt. If the foe is stunned, dodging, or shielding, the shadow beast will clasp his hands together before smashing them to the ground in front of him for an attack even laggier than the headbutt, dealing 15% and knockback that KOs at 120%.

Shadow Beasts have 50 HP and do not take stun, making it more feasible for them to complete their exceedingly laggy attacks. On death, their corpse will continue to rot on the stage. If only one live shadow beast is present on the stage and there are any corpses, it will laglessly howl (Not interrupting whatever it was doing), resurrecting all shadow beasts with full HP. To kill them for good, you must kill the last two of them at the same time. If all shadow beasts are dead at the same time, their corpses will explode into shadowy particles and vanish, so that Zant cannot just summon another one to revive them all.



If the input is smashed, Zant summons a common enemy type called a “Zant Mask”, that looks like a DK sized version of Zant’s helmet. Zant masks will float where they are summoned and will attack immediately upon coming out of the portal. They have a single attack of opening their mouths by retracting their “tongues”, shooting a generic dark red projectile at the nearest foe’s position before putting the tongue down into the usual position. These projectiles are the size of Mario’s fireball, go at Luigi’s dashing speed up to a max of Final Destination’s width, and deal 5% and flinching on contact. They will fire a projectile once every 1.65 seconds.

Zant Masks have 50 HP, but they will quickly teleport to a random position within a platform’s width every 5 seconds. They will never randomly teleport higher than 1.8 platforms above or away from the stage, and will never go under the stage. If a foe is within half a platform of them when they would normally teleport, the mask will specifically teleport away from the foe. If a foe is within a Wario width, the mask will specifically teleport away from the foe instead of shooting a projectile when it normally would.

UP SPECIAL – TWILIGHT BARRIER

Zant performs Zelda’s Up Special, with a twilight effect replacing the fiery explosion. His version is a bit faster and weaker than Zelda’s, who for some reason is more of a slow heavy hitter archetype. It still goes just as far as Zelda’s, which is a little under two Battlefield Platforms . Two Wario sized clumps of twilight appear where Zant uses the move and teleports to that do nothing, using the move again destroys the old twilight.

If a shadow beast enters pursuit range of the foe when the foe and it are between the two areas of twilight, two infinitely tall orange transparent barrier spawn at the two twilight patches as they vanish. The barrier actually stretches into the foreground and background with four twilight posts connecting the walls to make a realistic “cage” to trap the foe in, though this is entirely aesthetic and only the two walls matter. The walls are solid, and on contact it deals tiny set weak knockback away with no stun or damage. To destroy the barrier, foes must destroy all shadow beasts inside of it with them. It doesn’t matter if one’s outside the barrier to revive them, simply killing them all once will suffice to break the barrier. Having all of the beasts inside the barrier can work nice too, as they can actually be revived without the barrier breaking that way.

You can potentially move off-stage and teleport back to put some off-stage inside a barrier if you want, but this will just give an easy option for foes to kill shadow beasts. In any case, an entirely off-stage or a tiny pen of a barrier cannot be created, as at least one platform of ground must be inside the barrier’s space for it to spawn. Only one barrier can exist at a time.

Of course, Zant doesn’t get to just stand outside and do nothing while his minions fight the foe in a cage match. Who would want to do something so boring? All of his projectiles can go through the barrier to enable him to camp, and he can also teleport through the barriers with this very move (He cannot set up a second barrier while one is up) to fight them directly if he wants. Zant Masks can teleport around barriers and shoot projectiles through them in a largely identical manner to Zant.

NEUTRAL SPECIAL – SIZESHIFT

Zant enters a constipated charging position as either he or the minion/foe in front of him (If there is one) begins to massively increase in size. This gives Zant a surprisingly brief period of lag, as he is able to move after .4 seconds. He is still growing after the lag and he does not gain the power/weight bonuses of being large until he finishes it half a second after the initial input, but his hurtbox/hitboxes increase directly with size as you’d expect.

Projectiles made by giant Zant are giant like a regular giant character, but being giant does not change the size of shadow beasts. Aside from larger projectiles and more power, giant Zant in particular enjoys being able to hit foes inside of a barrier from outside with melee moves. Zant’s barriers are paper thin, meaning if he goes up against one he can hit a foe through it like any other solid obstacle in Smash. If giant, though, he has enough range to reach foes further away from the edge of the barrier.

Characters made giant by this move can potentially stay large forever, but upon being hit by anything that deals hitstun (or taking damage in the case of a Shadow Beast) the giant character will shift down in size to poison mushroom size over 5 seconds. The character will still have their giant power/weight until reaching regular size in 2.5 seconds, and their regular power/weight until they become tiny after the full 5 seconds. The character will remain tiny for 8 seconds before popping back to normal size.

Using this on a shadow beast will increase their range where they will pursue foes to a platform’s width, and in addition to powering up their moves will cause the two handed overhead slam to create an earthshaking hitbox where he slammed his hands for one second, dealing 8% and vertical knockback that KOs at 160%. Making a foe giant will make it easier for them to bump into shadow beasts and trigger barriers, and they should hopefully be hit by said shadow beasts shortly after to remove their giant size. If both the beast and the foe is giant, they won’t have much room to evade them given they take up half the stage.

Making a Zant Mask giant makes it solid from the inside, and when the Zant mask goes to retract the tongue, characters can go inside of it and even refresh their recoveries like perfectly normal ground. The projectile is generated outside the mask’s mouth so characters inside won’t be hit by it, and the mask’s AI will not change if the foe is inside of it rather than close by it. Characters inside the mask are invulnerable to characters outside of it when the mask’s tongue is down to block entry. That said, if the foe attempts to destroy the mask from the inside, if they don’t fully kill the mask it will shrink down with them inside of it, constricting the foe in a grab escape that deals 4% per half second to the foe. The point this is determined is when the mask becomes smaller than the character’s hurtbox, so making the foe giant can make this happen faster. Whenever the foe busts out from the mask constricting them, they will shatter it as they burst out from inside of it.

Zant can teleport inside of a giant mask to hide, and while he can’t shoot projectiles through it, he can shoot projectiles out at the same time the mask does when it retracts the tongue to shoot out projectiles alongside it. Sitting inside of a mask is generally the easiest way to bait the foe in to trap them, as they will oftentimes hit it to make it start getting smaller at the same time they hit you. The only particularly guaranteed way to not hit the mask is to land inside of it and grab Zant specifically. That said, they always have the option of just hitting the mask from the outside to force Zant to leave sooner or later, as he is vulnerable to the hitbox the mask has when it closes in on characters inside.

If two masks are close enough for Zant to teleport into and he goes into one, there will be no indication of which one he went inside of, and he can also teleport between them freely with no visible animation if the tongues are closed. This is not very abusable due to how hard it is to keep up 2 giant masks at the same time, but is a nice option when available to make you more elusive and obnoxious.

SIDE SPECIAL – SHADOW SHOOT

Zant raises his arm and shoots out a single dark red projectile that travels forwards a bit faster than Mario’s dash. The projectile has infinite range and the main body of the projectile is the size of a pokeball, dealing 5% and flinching on contact. It has a fiery/shadowy trail going behind it as it goes, though, that reaches out behind it as wide as Falco’s laser. The trail deals 1% and no stun per tenth of a second it’s in contact with something. This is a very spammable projectile and if you hold down B, Zant will continue using this version of the move rapidly as soon as he is able.

While it would be ideal if you could hit a foe with the main projectile and the trail, if the projectile hits something, the trail will only come up to where the projectile was as it disintegrates. The main thing the trail does is give something to hit a foe who dodges the main projectile, giving you some damage as a consolation prize. Giant foes in particular will find the trails very obnoxious, and will absolutely have to specifically shield the projectile, not dodge it, if they intend to avoid all damage from it.

Smashing the input increases the lag very slightly, but doubles the flight speed of the projectile without increasing power, but more importantly doubles the length of the trail. You can mix in the two projectile speeds together to create alternate lengths of trail and to create longer lingering main projectile hiboxes to deal actual hitstun to foes.

SMASHES

FORWARD SMASH – SHADOW SPREAD

Zant brings both of his arms up against himself during charging, then on release swings on upwards and one downwards as a huge spread of shadow projectiles get shot out in front of him. This has lag comparable to Bowser’s fsmash, but shoots out 6-11 projectiles at varying trajectories. While they all start next to each other, they spread out the further and further they go, though the ones aimed at the ground will inevitably hit it more quickly and expire faster. Each projectile does 5% and knockback that KOs at 200%. The projectiles move a bit faster than Mario’s dashing speed, much like the Side Special projectiles, though that move is spammable and doesn’t leave you overly vulnerable. Holding down Side B will get you more raw projectiles than this move will, and you can still “spread” them slightly by jumping in place as you spam with it much like how Falco would.

So what does this move accomplish over Side B? It lets all the projectiles be out at the same time to make them harder to avoid rather than a constant stream, and is worth mixing in with Side B spam if just sitting outside of a barrier camping. It’s also a worthwhile move to consider if sitting inside of a giant Zant Mask camping, as you can time the release of the move’s lag as the mask’s tongue retracts open.

Hitting with this move in melee range is not unheard of, Bowser can still land his fsmashes in competitive matches. Using this as a melee move causes all of the projectiles to immediately hit the foe at once before they spread, netting you a massive 30-55% damage on the foe, giving you the pay-off of Bowser’s fsmash for the lag of said move, at least damage wise.

If the foe is taller by being made giant, you can get this shotgun effect without firing at point blank. The bigger they are, the more the projectiles can spread out without exceeding their height. Being giant yourself can also be helpful with this move, though more for using the projectiles as projectiles and not as a shotgun blast. Keeping in mind the projectiles originate at your mid-torso section, being giant will also enable the projectiles aimed down to have some more distance to travel. Don’t get any ideas about using this while tiny on a regular sized foe, as this is much riskier and power of each individual projectile will be nerfed to make it very weak.

UP SMASH – SHADOW SWARM

Zant raises his arms above his head and moves them about as a giant red orb Wario-1.5x Bowser’s size materializes within his grasp (If he bothered to use his hands). Once it finishes being made, Zant will then fire it at any angle in front of him or above him, but will not fire it even slightly backwards. Whenever the orb comes into contact with solid ground or something it can damage, it will burst open into a portal. If it hits something it can damage, it deals 5% and flinching. If it hits nothing after going 2 platforms, it will burst open in place in mid-air. The portal’s large dark red graphic covers about a platform, but the only relevant part is a swirling portion in the middle Bowser’s size, the actual portal.

25-37 shadow bugs will come out of the portal and chase after the foe at Mario’s dashing speed if they were within a Bowser width of where they come out, otherwise they’ll just fly off the top blast zone. Each bug deals 1% and flinching and dies on contact with the foe in a tiny explosion, and they will continue to chase the foe until they get 1.3 platforms away from them, at which point they’ll take their leave off the top blast zone. The bugs are out-prioritzed by anything, and can be killed with even jointed attacks without the foe taking damage. The bugs cover about the size of 0.8-1.3x Bowser’s hurtbox as they move around, so it’s unlikely the foe will kill all of them in this way, leaving them to get hit by the rest in their ending lag. After the bugs come out, the portal vanishes into shadowy particles before quickly dissipating.

Shadow bugs cannot go through barriers, but the initial orb that you throw that places their portal can, enabling you to place a point for them to pop out and harass the foe. It’s much more difficult to outrun them inside barriers if it’s not massive, leaving foes to either awkwardly recover up high into the air or to fight some of them off, both leaving themselves open to other attacks. Giant foes will have difficulty running away due to it being harder to get their whole hurtbox 1.3 platforms away, but their increased hitbox sizes can kill all of the bugs at once for many characters. That said, tiny foes will have largely no choice but to run away, so if they get even once and start decreasing in size, their hitboxes generally will not be enough to kill a remotely worthwhile amount of the bugs.

This is not strictly a projectile attack, and can be used as very competent anti-air. It doesn’t take long at all for the initial orb to materialize, and if a foe lands on it from above as it spawns they will generate the portal and bugs near immediately to eat away at them. In addition, this can be used as a non anti-air melee move on foes taller than Zant, increasing the foe’s height enabling them to reach the hitbox.

DOWN SMASH – TANTRUM

Zant’s arm twitches a bit during charging as he crouches down, then he screams wildly as he jumps up into the air 1.5x Ganon’s height before coming back down and slamming onto the ground, stomping down with both legs. His body as he goes up deals 10% and knockback that KOs at 220%, and 16% and knockback that KOs at 170% on the way down. This move actually comes out very quickly, though it takes about as long as Dedede’s fsmash starting lag for Zant to hit the ground and generate an earthshaking hitbox, the main point of the move. The earthshaking hitbox will reach out .75 platforms to either side of Zant and deals 12-17% and vertical knockback that kills at 165-120%, lasting a half second to well more than cover Zant’s ending lag.

This is a pretty direct way to hit a foe inside of a barrier rather than just projectiles, though even with a minimum size barrier foes can run to the opposite side of the barrier to evade it without jumping. If the foe is big, they will be wider than .25 platforms in the case of all but the smallest of characters and will be hit by it. If –you- are big, the range of the earthshaking hitbox doubles, enabling you to hit all of even some larger barriers and most of a max size one. This does not come without a cost, though, in that your increased hurtbox will actually cause your leg to clip into the barrier during the ending lag if you use this move right up against the barrier, making you vulnerable. You can move slightly away from the barrier to get less range if you wish in exchange for being invulnerable, and this will still be enough to hit all of a minimum size barrier. Catching a foe as they land from being chased by usmash bugs with this can work nicely, though requires you to predict it in advance.

If you include the edge inside of a barrier, you will be pleased to learn that the earthshaking will wrap around a stage and hit ledges, doing horizontal knockback on a ledge and downwards knockback under the stage. This gives you a nice move to hit foes casually planking minions if you’ve included the edge inside of your barrier.

AERIALS

NEUTRAL AERIAL - BLADESTORM

Zant’s swords jut out of his sleeves as he starts spinning around, wind whirling around him. This move is very comparable to Mach Tornado, multiple hits of 1% and flinching, and mashing A to both make the move last longer and causing Zant to rise into the air a comparable distance to said move. Landing on the ground will not interrupt this move, and you can keep it going up to 1.2x as long as Mach Tornado for a total of 20 hits of 0.5% and flinching and a final hit that does 3% and knockback that KOs at 200%. When Zant comes out of this move, he enters his dizzy animation and has to button mash out, easier at lower percentages, though it’s around a third easier than if Zant had broken his shield. If you do not mash A to extend the move so much as one time, the ending lag will be as brief as Mach Tornado’s.

Zant has a unique sort of superarmor during this move, that will protect him from hitstun, but not knockback. If he is knocked away, Zant will still keep spinning around with the move uninterrupted, becoming a single constant momentum based hitbox rather than a multi-hitting one and increasing the max duration of the move by 1.35x. As an example, if he is hit by Mario’s fsmash at 50%, he’ll deal 15% and knockback that KOs at 120%. It doesn’t take much to reach the power cap of 20% and knockback that KOs at 100%. If Zant bumps into a wall when he has momentum from being hit, he will bounce off of it and increase his momentum by 1.2x and the max duration of the move by another 1.35x. While it is perfectly possible to make a tiny twilight barrier to bounce back and forth on the inside of infinitely (More likely a giant Zant mask), the foe has to hit you before the move mechanics change to allow you to do so from the usual Mach Tornado-esque version.

Zant may press any button other than A and make a directional input during this move to teleport a single Bowser width in the selected direction. He may do this up to twice throughout the course of the move, though he may only do this twice per air trip no matter how many nairs he uses. This enables Zant to teleport past barriers while using this move to bounce around after the foe before teleporting out to be safe during the ending lag. In addition, if Zant is in momentum mode during this move from having been hit, he can make a second input before he reappears to change his momentum to go in that direction. This enables him to redirect his momentum towards the foe outside predictable means of walls, slightly delay his approach on the foe to make them dodge in anticipation, or just redirect his momentum up to try to be safe during lag if there is no barrier/the shadow beasts are almost dead.

FORWARD AERIAL – BLADE DRILL

Zant goes horizontal in mid-air as blades extend out of his sleeves and he brings them together above his head, then he starts spinning around, somewhat comparable to Falco’s fair. This deals 13 hits of 1% and flinching, with the last hit dealing knockback that KOs at 180%. This is a decent attack to try to “escape” from the foe if cornered without a barrier up as you DI through a foe, and can also just delay them to a degree.

If the move’s landing lag is triggered, Zant will immediately enter prone on his stomach and will be free to act from that state. Zant’s stomach prone attack is quite good and involves him pouting as he pounds the ground childishly (8%, knockback KOs at 155%) as he gets up. Foes can generally DI out of the move before the end, at least if not giant, so ending the move early to finish it with the prone attack is actually safer. Zant can also instead roll up from prone instead of flopping about to use this move as a “set” spacer, most probably choosing to roll back towards a minion.

BACK AERIAL – TOUCH OF TWILIGHT

Zant extends out a sleeve behind him as he turns to look, then actually brings his hand out of his sleeve as he goes to poke the foe with his pointer finger. The arm and hand are a hitbox that deal an embarrassing 2% and set tiny knockback of a Mario width, with a microstun shorter than a flinch. There is a tiny hitbox placed on the tip of Zant’s finger, though, that deals 18% and knockback that KOs at 130% as the foe gets sent off flying covered in dark red flames. This is a very quick move to start, and while the ending lag is long enough it’s not “spammable” this can be Zant’s best move if you get good at spacing.

If the foe is giant, it will be much easier to hit them with this move. If Zant is giant, the hitbox’s size will get exaggerated along with his own, making this move easier to throw out in addition to making it even more powerful. This move’s range, while not fantastic, is better than most moves of this type, meaning a giant Zant can also spam this move against a barrier to try to hit a foe inside to moderate success. Ideally, he can constantly be spacing himself to try to not let the foe get past his finger, only coming up against the barrier and humping it when he has to reach for a foe hiding on the other side of a barrier.

UP AERIAL – DARK PORTAL

Zant raises his arms above his head as a small portal spawns there, sucking foes in with the power of Dedede’s inhale in a Bowser sized radius around Zant. Foes can be sucked up from below Zant, but they will have plenty of time to hit Zant out of the move if he chooses to do that. The portal is the size of Wario at the start of the move and slowly shrinks over the move’s duration, but deals 25 hits of 1% and flinching over the course of the move with the last one dealing knockback that KOs at 225%.

The portal will suck up projectiles, enabling you to bring in the foe and the projectiles to all collide together. This is of course most powerful in combination with the fsmash, though is rather predictable. If you don’t want to do any work whatsoever for a projectile bonus, you can use projectiles from Zant Masks for this. If an enemy projectile manages to reach the portal, ownership will change to you, but it can still hit you before it reaches the portal, meaning it only really “invalidates” enemy projectiles from above, which are very rare and rather impractical to begin with.

Any projectiles sucked up by this move that aren’t used up by damaging something will phase out of existence. If you use Down Special, though, all projectiles stored by this move will come out alongside the minion, going at the angle they were going though being aimed in the direction Zant is facing. Aside from some situational offensive use, any projectiles whatsoever now becomes useful as it will cover Zant while he’s summoning a minion.

DOWN AERIAL – SHADOW BLAST

Zant joins his sleeves together as he raises his hands over his head before a black shadowy ball of energy pops between them, pushing them apart, before Zant forcefully throws it downwards. This is a laggy attack for Zant to actually fire the projectile, but strangely can hit foes above him quite quickly, the ball becoming a hitbox as soon as it spawns. Weirder still, the ball specifically does vertical knockback, KOing at 145% along with dealing 12% damage. Upon contact with the ground, the ball explodes and sends up three Side Special projectiles, one directly upwards and two at 45 degree angles to the sides up from the ground.

This projectile will immediately expire upon damaging something, so if this is used as a melee move Zant can interrupt himself out of the rest of the long animation. If a foe air dodges through Zant when falling into him to evade this attack, hitting with the move as a projectile instead becomes possible if Zant DIs to stay on top of the foe. Given the status this has as laggy, though, it’s doubtful you’ll actually still hit them (Unless giant), but you can at least send it after them immediately and force them to do a second panicked air dodge. This is also one of those “bad” downwards angled projectiles mentioned by the uair, which can be made more practical by limiting horizontal space with a barrier. Using this directly followed by uair is a very powerful combination if the foe happens to be high up, and it can also possibly catch some of the smaller projectiles you made.

STANDARDS

NEUTRAL ATTACK – SHADOW PARTICLES

Zant swipes his arm forwards, causing some small shadowy particles to spawn in front of him and swirl around. With each press of A, Zant will swipe his arm back in the opposite direction, making the shadowy particles swirl around in reverse. Each hit deals 5% and turn the foe around like Mario’s cape. Due to this being a grounded attack, this sadly can’t be used to gimp, but it can still serve as a crude counter unless the foe does a move that hits to both sides like a traditional dsmash. This attack is extremely fast, and can actually rack damage as quickly as Fox’s laser on a foe who stands there doing nothing. Like Fox’s laser, this will not knock a foe out of stun, so this is a go to move if you manage to break the foe’s shield, which is possible if you actually land some hits while giant and/or some hits alongside minions.

While you can simply use this while standing on the same side as a minion in a very straightforward way to try to defend the minion, it’s still worth looking into if on the opposite side of the foe as a minion. If you’re inside a barrier, it can actually be a very legitimate consideration to want to tank a hit for a Shadow Beast in his stead – especially if at high percentages, as the extra damage won’t matter and the attack won’t kill you unless it does very direct vertical knockback. Meanwhile, the Shadow Beast will punish them and not take damage.

If this is used on a Shadow Beast, it will turn it around too, which is actually quite useful given their mindless patrol patterns. You can send them back after the foe if they passed them up, or maybe even send one away from the foe to try to get it out of barrier range so it can easily revive the rest.

DASHING ATTACK – BLADE RUSH

Zant alternates chopping with each arm as he runs forwards a fair bit faster than usual, babbling something with each chop, traveling a platform’s distance over the course of the dashing attack. Zant is consistently a hitbox that deals 11% and knockback that KOs at 150% over the course of the move. The beginning of the attack is superarmored, making this a popular move for Zant to tank damage. Despite not being especially heavy, Zant is good at surviving with heaps of damage on him due to only being killable by vertical KOs inside of barriers. While he can be a bit more offensive if he wants at lower percentages, when he’s actually damaged enough to kill him it’s rare he’ll fight you outside a barrier if at all possible.

This attack does a good shieldstun, as well as some shield push. You can drag a shielding foe with this and get 2 hits on them before they’ll be pushed too far out of range, possibly pushing them into a Shadow Beast. If inside of a barrier, the barrier will prevent the foe from being pushed back too far, enabling you to get in a third hit to heavily cripple and almost destroy their shield. If giant, this will most definitely shatter it from even full strength if you land all 3 hits, enabling you to rack heavy damage with the jab.

FORWARD TILT – LONG SWING

While the dashing attack is the more well known animation, when Zant is less damaged in his final phase he will do more exaggerated long swipes with his blades instead of the rapid advancing cut. He leans back a bit before slicing forward with one arm here, giving him a fairly fast and ranged tilt that deals 6% and above average hitstun. This is a two part ftilt like Snake’s and if A is input again he will do a similar slash with his other arm. This is just as fast, but is slightly more powerful due to Zant leaning heavily into the attack, so far that he spins around to face the opposite direction. This second attack deals 9% and knockback that KOs at 140%, and has no ending lag, with Zant facing the other way being considered enough “penalty”.

If the foe dodges or shielded the attack, facing the opposite way will make this a bit too difficult to actually capitalize on their slight delay, but you’re still free and in fact set-up to just try to run away from the enemy after having failed to hit them. If you want to use the move more offensively, you can just try to use only the first hit to stun the foe, similar to how characters like Ike rarely use the last hit of their jab. Nothing will true combo into it outside of your jab and utilt, though the jab can put the foe in an awkward spot. Whether used offensively or defensively, it puts you in control of how the match is being dictated and takes the pressure off you, either directly or by applying some immediately to the enemy.

UP TILT – REDIRECTION

Zant swats over his head in a half-arch arc in a very quick and spammable move, dealing 6% and mostly vertical knockback that KOs at 200%. This is a good anti-air and even a decent juggler at low percentages, which has some use in barriers and in the context of uair/dair.

Shadow particles spawn in the arc he swings his arm. They’re not entirely for show, as any of Zant’s projectiles that come into contact with this will be bounced off by this attack. The projectile will be reangled to go in a new direction based off where on the utilt the projectile was hit, going directly away from him. This lets Zant reaim projectiles most anywhere with good timing, and is a much more immediate course of action than the uair.

DOWN TILT - STOMP

Zant raises his leg high into the air to do an overly dramatic stomp forwards with a single leg. This is laggy for a tilt, a bit laggier than Samus’ dtilt, but has good range and is quite powerful for a tilt, dealing 15% and knockback that KOs at an early 110% in one of Zant’s best KO moves.

This move has a counter hitbox on it, but triggering it does not nullify all knockback. Instead, only all vertical knockback is negated, and Zant takes his horizontal knockback as he holds onto his foot, yelping in pain as he hops on his other foot repeatedly. Zant will hop forwards a platform’s distance at Captain Falcon’s dashing speed over the duration of the “counter”, negating a quarter of his remaining horizontal knockback with each of his four hops over the duration of the counter. Zant deals 5% and set knockback forwards during the counter that will drag foes along with him, potentially hitting foes up to four times. Most foes will probably DI out before then, though giant ones won’t and will still be giant long enough for all the hits to connect.

This functions well when you can better deal with the fact you still take some horizontal knockback from this move. The most obvious use is just having a low percentage, and using the dragging hits to bring the foe into a Shadow Beast. It also works well if a barrier is already up, as the barrier puts a strict cap on how much horizontal knockback you can take. If Zant is big, while he will still start shrinking once hit like in his boss fight, but he will hop forwards twice as far over the course of the move, enabling him to hop back to reach the foe very quickly and enabling him to drag them far further.

GRAB-GAME

GRAB – NO HANDS

Zant extends out his sleeve without bothering to grab the foe with his hand. Rather than an MYM grab where he actually physically grabs the foe, the foe just becomes magically restrained up against Zant’s sleeve, much like Dedede’s grab and many others. This has comparatively good grab range to the Brawl cast, but is still not what you’d consider “good range”. It is a somewhat laggy grab on par with Falco’s.

PUMMEL – SHADOW BURST

Zant waves his arm as the tassels at the end of his sleeve move about, generating a small burst of shadow on the foe to deal 0.7% in a pummel nearly as fast as Lucario’s (Which deals 0.5%). Having this sort of pummel is good for Zant because each pummel will enter the stale moves list, enabling him to easily push out everything else. Why he appreciates it more than a standard character is simply the ability to refresh his Side Special, enabling him to power his camping back up to full strength quickly. You’ll also passively use this when just waiting for a Shadow Beast to smack the foe.

FORWARD THROW – SHADOW BLAST

Zant blasts the foe diagonally upwards, dealing 9% and knockback that kills at 180%, but only due to the poor angle. Zant proceeds to spawn the projectile from dair in the same fashion as he does in said move, but launches it upwards at the same angle he threw the foe, sending it after them. This will never combo into the foe, even at low percentages, but will provide them something to dodge.

While you can fire this projectile at will with your dair, you are not normally allowed to fire it at this angle. The angle the move is fired at it enables it to hit walls, and it will act the same as if it hit the ground, spawning three Side Special projectiles for you. This means the foe will have to dodge the projectiles twice, opening things up for you to add in whatever else you feel like or just grab some of the free projectiles with uair.

BACK THROW – TWILIGHT AURA

Zant places his sleeves on either side of the foe’s head before blasting them behind him, dealing 13% and knockback that KOs at 175%. As they are shot away, a completely black shroud covers where they go, as large as their hurtbox. The foe will continue to make more of this wherever they go for the next 3 seconds. The black twilight aura does nothing, but it does obscure vision and lasts for 5 seconds. Even if this won’t KO, having a good chunk of damage on the foe is good for this throw so that if they come into contact with a shadow beast, they’ll fly into the opposite side of the barrier as they spawn to cover the entirety of the ground level with obscuring black shadow.

The AI doesn’t care about having their vision obscured, so this can be a rather awkward handicap to fight the Shadow Beasts, foes largely just having to either dodgespasm or flail out hitboxes mindlessly without skilled play. If a barrier is up, Zant doesn’t especially care about seeing the foe either and he can just leave the barrier so it can’t be used against him. He will know the general location of where they have to be and can just fire projectiles in their vague direction that will be more difficult to dodge than usual.

UP THROW – DARK DIVE

Zant spawns a portal underneath himself and throws the foe into it, then hops into it himself carelessly with his arms raised high in the air with the tassels on his sleeves blowing upwards, letting out a maniacal laugh. The foe and Zant will stay inside the portal for half a second as the foe takes 10 hits of 1%, then the portal will open back up with Zant uppercutting the foe out of it, dealing knockback that KOs at 140%. This is Zant’s favorite kill move due to it being reliable out of a grab and sending foes entirely vertically so it has no problem killing enemies inside of barriers. Zant is propelled upwards a set distance as he uppercuts of double Ganondorf’s height – at low percentages he’ll be in the air above the foe able to summon a minion or send a dair at them. If below them, he can use his dair and uair to juggle the foe, possibly attempting to go for the kill with dair.

Any projectiles absorbed with uair will be shot vertically after the foe when this move is used. At low percentages, this will guarantee all of them hit, though it’s doubtful you’ll have many projectiles stored at low percentages unless the foe has respawned from having been killed, I which case it’s quite good. It can still create some projectiles for foes to avoid as they come down, and directly plays into a uair follow-up as Zant goes to recollect his projectiles before they go off the top.

DOWN THROW – TWILI CURSE

Some kicks the foe to the ground in prone and dances on their corpse like a lunatic while shouting something incomprehensible, causing shadowy particles to swirl around the foe, then kicks them in the buttocks for weak knockback that KOs at 220% while they’re still in prone. This deals 14% and would already pass as a great for some other characters, though Zant isn’t an especially big abuser of prone state.

The shadowy particles will continue to swirl around the foe for a long 8 seconds, giving them far more than enough time to recover from prone before an actual effect happens. A portal will spawn on top of the foe’s current location and begin sucking them in – it’s identical to the uair, it’s essentially as if an invisible Zant just spawned there and used the move. The foe still has enough time to move out of the immediate hitbox of the portal, though they typically have to be dashing/dodging already when it spawns to do so. Zant can be affected by the pull of this and even be hit by the portal’s multiple flinching hits, so if a foe is on top of him and pressuring him they can actually use this to their advantage. Zant will want the foe in a barrier when this goes off and to fire lots of projectiles if at all possible – the possibilities are a lot bigger than with uair given he doesn’t have to personally channel the portal. This still keeps the properties uair has of absorbing projectiles to be later reusable with your Down Special, so it’s still massively beneficial even if you miss.

FINAL SMASH

Zant takes off his helmet before he snaps his own neck, simply by bending it out of place as a snapping sound is heard. This will deal 35% to Zant, but will kill the nearest enemy as their own neck snaps and they die stamina style. In order to stop this, foes can just interrupt Zant during the Final Smash. It takes a second to perform this, so it’s quite easy to interrupt if you don’t trap the foe in a barrier. Trapping the foe in said barrier also isn’t free once you get the smash ball, as they can knock the smash ball out of you while you’re trying to do it.

PLAYSTYLE SUMMARY

While Zant’s more evasive and vaguely counter-based standards may seem odd, he actually makes heaviest use of them at the start of the match when he hasn’t set anything up yet. Contrary to popular belief, set-up isn’t entirely free. Using the fair as an air to ground move also works well here as Zant tries to buy some time to get a Down Special off. If possible, Zant will want to mix at least one Up Special into his evasive melee game here, so he doesn’t have to arbitrarily set-up the position where the barrier will set-up later.

You’d like to think that Zant could just wait for the foe to bump into the Shadow Beast then endlessly make more, but foes will be waiting until Shadow Beasts are out of the barrier’s spawn range to kill them and send them plummeting off the edge so they can’t be revived either. A competent foe will rarely let you revive Shadow Beasts unless a barrier forces them to. Zant has to supply a rather surprising amount of pressure in order to protect the Shadow Beasts. Zant Masks can be more helpful here than you’d think in this early phase, as foes will generally ignore them since they can’t spawn barriers. While they’re weak, having one out can be good as a slow burner. If the foe targets one, they’ll be wasting their time given how evasive they are, letting you get the needed beasts out on the field.

With one good barrier up, it’s easy to make more and more beasts to keep getting them up. You have to be careful of a foe baiting a large group off the edge to their deaths, and may even want to set up one of the two edges as one of the end points of your barrier to help deal with this – dsmash’s hitbox that hits the ledge will be seeing a lot more use than you’d think. Turning Shadow Beasts around to keep them separate can become crucial. While Zant’s playstyle of camping, projectile manipulation, and more becomes very obvious with a barrier up to the point it’s not worth going over again if you’ve read the set, he will actually need to be doing a lot of camping by the time he’s going at full strength so he doesn’t die – Zant will be at a high percentage for most of the match, but he will still live a very long life. Of course he can still come inside the barrier to help, though he will largely be doing so towards the end of a stock when it’s time to go for the KO.

3V1 BOSS MODE

  • Zant has invulnerability to grabs for a second after being grab released or thrown.
  • Down Special summons 3 minions per use.
  • You can create as many barriers as you want, but you cannot create barriers inside of barriers. The minimum width of barriers is reduced to Bowser’s width rather than a platform.
  • Zant’s Up Special is lagless. He can use it twice without touching ground, and the second use of it does not put him into helpless.
  • Zant is ungrabbable while giant and will come out of stun immediately if he remains in it for longer than .1 seconds. 50 damage must be dealt to Zant before he shrinks in the usual fashion, but he will only shrink to regular size, not to his small size. Zant’s weight while giant is buffed to double Bowser’s.
  • Zant Masks must take 26 damage to lose their giant status.
  • Fair moves Zant in an identical manner to Meta Knight’s Side Special. He may use it two times in the air before it reverts to the usual version until he touches ground again.
  • Uair’s portal may now suck up foes that are smaller than it. Zant may become giant or turn a foe tiny to achieve this. Some small foes can be captured immediately by the uair, but you basically have to get them as soon as the hitbox spawns due to the already small hitbox getting smaller over the course of the move. If Zant does not use Down Special to release the foe, the foe may break out at grab difficulty, causing the portal to spawn where the uair was last used with the foe gaining grab invulnerability for a half second.
  • The dair/fthrow projectile will now spawn 8 projectiles on contact with ground/walls. Foe may go out of their way to shield the dair, or even voluntarily choose to be hit by the fthrow to stop the projectiles from spawning.
  • Zant does not go down with the foe in uthrow, leaving them to get shot out of the portal with his projectiles by themselves.
  • Dthrow’s knockback is buffed to KOing at 130%, and the foe will become a hitbox that deals 12% and knockback that KOs at 160% to other foes as they slide in prone. It is now an even more amazing throw than it already was, but the laggy animation actually matters now.
  • If no foe is in range of Zant’s grab and he inputs it, he will summon a “Zant’s Hand”, the Wallmaster rip off found in the Palace of Twilight. This will pursue the nearest foe at Ganon’s dashing speed and attempt to grab them, and upon success will drag the foe back to Zant at Meta Knight’s dashing speed. The foe can escape the grab before reaching Zant, though if the hand releases the foe to Zant the grab escape timer resets. The hand will vanish upon one failed grab attempt or a successful grab. Other foes can attack a hand that has an ally grabbed, killing it early by dealing it 30 damage. Zant can only have one out at a time, and it is quick to summon.
  • Dsmash is replaced. Dtilt now has the earthshaking effect from Zant’s original dsmash.

DOWN SMASH – TANTRUM

Zant’s arm twitches a bit during charging as he crouches down, then he screams wildly as he jumps up into the air 1.5x Ganon’s height before coming back down and slamming onto the ground. His body as he goes up deals 10% and knockback that KOs at 220%, and 16% and knockback that KOs at 170% on the way down. On contact with the ground, he will cause a Wario’s width of ground to either side of him to become hitboxes that deal 10-20% and vertical knockback that KOs at 180-150% for half a second. Zant is allowed to move through the air with his normal DI when he jumps up, but may not perform any moves. Regardless, it makes this otherwise laggy move a lot safer and more evasive.

The move’s description above is what happens if Zant slams down on the center a stage or platform. The further towards one edge of a platform Zant slams down, the more it will tilt in that direction when Zant slams down on it. Zant can tilt the entirety of most tourney legal stages as they’re all one “platform”, but will have to settle for tilting separate parts of giant stages like New Pork at a time. If he slams down all the way on the edge of a platform, the platform will be tilted at a 45 degree angle. The further away from the edge and closer to the center Zant slams down, the smaller the angle of the tilt will be. The platform will tilt back into place at a rate of 5 degrees per second. Barriers will also be tilted if the main stage is tilted, and you may never tilt a platform more than 45 degrees.

Aside from altering the stage when used closer to an edge, using it like this will generate a hitbox towards the opposite end of the stage that gets tilted upwards for a third of a second, essentially catapulting foes. The closer to one edge you use the move, the further the hitbox will reach out from the opposite edge, potentially covering up the entire opposite half of the stage. The power of the hitbox at the opposite edge is increased the closer to your edge you use the move, then weakens as it goes out. If you somehow get the foe standing at the other edge when you use this on an edge, they’ll be dealt an astonishing 36% and knockback that KOs at 65%, though it likely won’t KO that soon because of the foe being sent towards the blast zone they’re further away from. This description of power assumes the stage is as wide as Battlefield at least, getting proportionately weaker if the platform is smaller. The earthshaking hitbox will send the foe in the direction the stage is being tilted at a diagonal angle based off the stage’s tilt, not straight up. This is more usable than you might think if the foe is stuck at the opposite side of a stage in a barrier.

While Zant is mostly doing this through magic, if he is giant it will slightly increase his power to tilt the stage as he becomes an actual heavyweight. While giant, Zant can tilt the stage to a maximum of 60 degrees. This does not increase the power, but the giant buff increases the power anyway.

Tilting any platform/stage at least as wide as Smashville’s moving platform will change its center of gravity. Any characters standing on the ground, including Zant, will begin to slide downwards at the rate of Ganondorf’s dash if the stage is tilted 45 degrees (Link’s at 60 degrees), progressively getting slower and stopping once the stage is only tilted 10 degrees. Characters are immune to this when performing ledge attacks/rolls so they don’t just slide off the stage while trying to climb up. If they dash in the direction the stage is tilted/against it, this rate will be added/subtracted to their dashing speed. If it decreases the character’s speed less, it will be cut by up to one third (One half at 60 degrees), this amount decreasing as the stage tilts back into place. Characters in prone will slide down the slope at Mario’s dash speed at 45 degrees, and Meta Knight’s at 60 degrees.

You almost always want to be on the higher ground when the stage is tilted, as if you sit and attack a foe above you with a grounded attack you can often slide downwards in the middle of your attack and be unable to hit them. If on higher ground, performing a grounded attack can enable you to “slide” forwards while using it as if you were some kind of momentum character. The sliding can also be very obnoxious as they get slid into a barrier and bump against it over and over.
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2015
Messages
1,111
#7
Zant is just so bizarre that he instantly became my favorite in Hyrule Warriors. I'd love to see him appear in Smash in some capacity.
 

Smash Lampjaw

Smash Apprentice
Joined
Aug 14, 2018
Messages
76
Location
Canada
3DS FC
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#9
I support. Common community opinions that the Zelda series is over-represented aside, he'd make an interesting character for sure. I'd love to see him in someday.
 
Last edited:

Willbot

Smash Rookie
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
13
#10
I support. Common community opinions that the Zelda series is over-represented aside, he'd make an interesting character for sure. I'd love to see him in someday.
I'm glad to hear that some people are giving him the love he deserves. His moveset would be super diverse and unique, and he was a super interesting character that hasn't been in smash in any form other than a Normal trophy. Thanks for the support!
 

Willbot

Smash Rookie
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
13
#12
I’ll support. He’s an underrated villain. He was quite fun to use in Hyrule Warriors as well.
Thanks for the support, Zero! I agree that he is very much an underrated villain. I'd beg to argue he had some of the best character development in all of Zelda history, ESPECIALLY for a Villain. His manic play style was also really fun in HW, I agree!
 

Diem

Agent of Phaaze
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Agon Wastes
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Luminoth_Prime
#13
Sure, add me to the list. Twilight Princess is one of my favorite games of all time, and I'd love to see Zant playable. He's got some interesting potential, though with how little the Zelda franchise has been utilized in Smash, I can't say I'm holding my breath.
 

Willbot

Smash Rookie
Joined
Aug 12, 2018
Messages
13
#15
Sure, add me to the list. Twilight Princess is one of my favorite games of all time, and I'd love to see Zant playable. He's got some interesting potential, though with how little the Zelda franchise has been utilized in Smash, I can't say I'm holding my breath.
Thanks Diem. Appreciate it! Twilight Princess was a great game and Zant definitely helped carry that game! The fact that he started so ominous because the payer didn't know anything about him, just to find out he was a manic psychopath! I loved his arc.
 
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